The promise of a lovely warm and sunny day so up early and at Rutland Water by 7.30. All very quiet on Burley Fishponds having already recorded Collared Dove, Magpie and Rook as I approached this fabulous site. Woodpigeons and Jackdaws in the neighbouring trees and Mute Swan, Greylag and Canada Geese on or near the water itself. Just a couple of Great Crested Grebe and no more than a dozen Coot so I made my way over to the Visitors Centre picking up a Pied Wagtail as I departed and both House Sparrow and Common Starling as I drove through Egleton.
Apart from the occasional Jackdaw and a Goldfinch atop a nearby tree all seemed very quiet and no activity on the feeding station so on towards Lagoons 4 and 3. A number of Blackbirds were moving around and a quick stop at the Redshank Hide on Lagoon 2 produced Mallard, Tufted Duck and the breeding Sand Martins at the artificial nesting site opposite the hide.
|One of many Lapwing Vanellus vanellus|
So onto the first main stop at the Sandpiper Hide at Lagoon 4. A few Carrion Crows in addition to the local Jackdaws and immediately settled I could see the good number of Lapwing and Black-headed Gulls. Mute Swans on the water and both Canada and Greylag Geese nearby but also maybe a dozen or more resting Common Tern. Not just Shelduck present but also a distant Oysercatcher and Grey Plover.
|Grey Heron Ardea cinerea|
The short walk to the Shoveler Hide overlooking Lagoon 3 was also relatively quiet but a number of Shelduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard and especially Tufted Duck were recorded. Just the odd Great Crested Grebe and a number of nesting Black-headed Gulls in addition to a few feeding Common Tern. Both Greylag and Canada Geese, many with goslings, were also seen here. A Heron came to rest in the shallow pool to my right and immediately below the hide a pair of nesting Reed Warblers. Finally, a lone Moorhen put in an appearance at the back of the pool to my left.
|Record shot of Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus|
A quick look at the same water from the Crake Hide produced a Cormorant and then to the Smew Hide where not only nesting Black-headed Gulls were found once more along with Coot, Mute Swan and Tufted Duck but also Common Tern on both small artificial islands.
|Common Tern Sterna hirundo with Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus|
|Male Common Pochard Aythya ferina|
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Osprey, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information